Says cycling has moved on from Armstrong
Christian Prudhomme said that cycling is no longer "the little ugly duckling" insisting that the sport has moved on following the Lance Armstrong affair.
The Tour de France boss was speaking in Sydney, Australia to promote the 100th edition of the grand tour.
"That's the past," Prudhomme told AAP of the man who rode to seven Tour de France titles before being stripped of them last year in the wake of the United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation. "He [Armstrong] wasn't there last year, he wasn't there the year before.
"We can't keep an image in the media from the past in what's happening now. Cycling is not a perfect world, but it's changed."
Earlier this week, the UCI confirmed that it will work in partnership with the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) for the rest of the season, improving the quality of testing and intelligence before this year's Tour de France.
The two bodies have been at odds in recent years and especially in recent months regarding the quality of testing and the access to the data from the UCI's Biological Passport programme. The AFLD refused to work with the UCI this spring, citing the Federation's "serious mistakes" made in the past and the effects of the Lance Armstrong affair.
The UCI announced that CADF (the UCI's Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation) and AFLD will now combine resources and expertise to organise and provide anti-doping tests, for the Critérium du Dauphiné in June and the Tour de France in July.
Prudhomme, clearly pleased with the anti-doping effort being made by his organisation, said that despite the rigorous testing regime, he still could not guarantee a clean race.
"I would like to know what would happen in other sporting events and sporting circles if they were as rigorous in terms of rules as the Tour de France," Prudhomme said.
"There are a lot of sporting events where the French anti-doping doesn't intervene at all and there are no questions, no-one asks questions.
"[Yet] we have to be above everyone else and above the world sporting rules. So we're not guaranteeing anything, it's not for me to guarantee it [will be a clean race].
"But world cycling is not the little ugly duckling that we point our finger at."
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